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Essar tappings: RIL claims innocence

Reliance Industries Ltd, on Friday, took strong exception to media reports that suggested top honchos of the company were involved in arm-twisting for business gains as ‘revealed’ from tapped conversations.The allegations of tapping were made in a 29-page complaint submitted to Prime Minister Narendra Modi by a Delhi-based Supreme Court lawyer Suren Uppal, who claims he represents Essar former employee who allegedly tapped the phones.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The report, published in a leading daily and a news magazine, says the recorded conversations allegedly reveal how businessmen reach out to politicians to seek favours.The purported conversations reveal widespread peddling of influence in corridors of power, ‘corruption in the business milieu’, brokering of deals and blurring of lines between business and government.The reports have named a literal who’s who – Union ministers Suresh Prabhu, Piyush Goel, serving and former bureaucrats NK Singh, Brajesh Mishra, Rajiv Mehrishi, Sahara chief Subroto Roy, Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav and veteran film actor Amitabh Bachchan, among others, whose phones were allegedly tapped.”We are shocked at reports which suggest that we have been victims of unauthorised and illegal tapping of our telephones. Conversations attributed to us are false and appear to have been doctored by someone who seeks to defame us,” a statement released by the RIL spokesperson read.The statement further noted that they had, at all times, abided by the law of the land, both in letter and in spirit in all our actions and business activities and any suggestion of any wrongdoing was plainly false.RIL demanded action against ‘malicious falsehoods’ and sought serious view of these alleged violations of their right to privacy if indeed there had been any illegal wire-tapping.RIL offered full cooperation to any authority in ascertaining the truth and said they were confident of demonstrating that the salacious allegations were false.The Congress on Friday demanded that the tapes be made public as the people would be the ‘best judge’ to discern its veracity.”The allegations are serious and multifaceted, but most importantly if those tapes exist, they need to be made public because the people need to know as to what is going on,” Congress leader Manish Tewari told ANI.

RIL, ONGC gas dispute: Govt extended the tenure of Shah panel by three months

New Delhi: Government has extended by three months the tenure of A P Shah Committee looking into the dispute over natural gas migrating from state-owned ONGC’s idle blocks in KG basin to neighbouring fields of Reliance Industries.

The committee has been asked to submit its report on “acts of omission and commission” by 31 July, as well as compensation to ONGC, an oil ministry official said.

The extension was necessary as RIL and its partner Niko Resources of Canada joined the inquiry committee only on
19 February and have submitted voluminous data which needs to be studied, he said.

“They (the committee) sought an extension,” he said.

Representational image. ReutersRepresentational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

The ministry had constituted the one-man panel under Justice (Retd) A P Shah after US-based consultant D&M, in its final report, stated that as much as 11.122 billion cubic meters of natural gas, worth over Rs 11,000 crore, had
migrated from idling Krishna Godavari fields of Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) to adjoining KG-D6 block of RIL.

The panel initially sought written comments on the D&M report and the issue of connectivity of reservoir from all
parties to the case.

While ONGC and upstream regulator DGH responded, RIL and its partner Niko questioned the very constitution of the panel and decided not to participate in its proceedings.

However, their 30 per cent partner BP plc of UK agreed to participate in the proceedings. RIL and Niko later had a
change of heart and agreed to participate in the inquiry.

The official said since RIL and Niko submitted their response together with voluminous data late, the Shah
Committee wanted more time to study it.

The panel has been asked to look into legal, financial and contractual provisions and submit a report.

It has also been asked to report any “acts of omission and commission” on part of all the stakeholders including RIL, ONGC, the Directorate General of Hydrocarbons and the government, according to the terms and reference of the panel.

It has been asked to “quantify the unfair enrichment, if any, to the contractors of the adjacent block KG-DWN-98/3
(KG-D6) and measures to prevent future unfair enrichment to these contractors on account of gas migration.”

It has also been asked to “recommend action to be taken to make good the loss to ONGC/government on account of such unfair enrichment to the contractors.”

The official said the government will decide on future course of action based on the recommendations of the Committee.


Nita Ambani brings #OpenOffice right into Reliance HQ at Nariman Point

Weeks after RIL chairman Mukesh Ambani ushered in a new office culture in the company by stepping out of his corner room in Reliance Corporate Park (RCP) in Navi Mumbai to a simple open office, Nita Ambani, director on RIL board and chairperson of Reliance Foundation, brought the new ‘no walls, no barricades’ culture right into RIL headquarters at Maker IV in Nariman Point.

Mumbai Mirror reports that the new workspace will house the teams that power Mumbai Indians, Indian Super League and the fashion and entertainment segments. “Mrs Ambani says the idea was to bring about a synergy and increase creativity,” says the Mirror.

Nita Ambani at the new open officeNita Ambani at the new open office

Nita Ambani at the new open office.

“>The Times of India reports this morning that the top team of the Mumbai Indians (Reliance’s IPL franchise) has moved into this new open office in the sixth floor of Maker IV “from where ideas on various sporting properties are being discussed upon”.

This work-space transformation began last November when India’s largest start-up, Reliance Jio, headlined a remarkable change on the 7th floor of “TC22” building at RCP. The Jio open office, conceptualised and delivered in six months by the Ambani scions, Akash and Isha (directors on the Jio board), has come in for high praise.

MidDay quotes Prabir Sen, a Vancouver based data scientist as saying that the Ambanis’ open office blitz is unique even when seen from a western lens.

“Tycoons dismantling barriers is unique. The west has not done it; it is a new trend, and different from CEOs sharing meals (with staff) in the same cafeteria,” says Sen in MidDay.

Reliance open office is a trail blazer in Indian corporate culture, say media reportsReliance open office is a trail blazer in Indian corporate culture, say media reports

Reliance open office is a trail blazer in Indian corporate culture, say MidDay reports.

For the owners of one of India’s most powerful companies to say “I am one of you” is a trail blazer in the country’s human resource industry, reports MidDay.

Reliance Industries has done a nation-wide employee launch of the 4-G digital ecosystem under the “Jio” and “LYF” brands. With the open offices in RCP and now Maker IV, it has also brought quiet, but telling transformation in the refining-to-retail group’s corporate culture.

(Disclosure: Firstpost is part of Network18 Media & Investment Limited which is owned by Reliance Industries Limited.)